Manormous Cabinet

All of our lower cabinets are in and we’ve even installed one of the three uppers.  A giant cabinet over the refrigerator, in fact.  We decided to frame out our refrigerator for a more finished look.  This started with hanging the large cabinet, screwing into the joists and studs along the back wall.

Now do you realize how huge.  It is 36 inches wide, two feet tall and 29 inches deep.  In a small kitchen, every inch counts.  Actually, when I was painting the insides of the lower cabinets, I accidentally painted this guy because he was that big.  Moving on.  After installing the cabinet, Ben screwed a small strip of plywood to the floor.  The sheet of plywood screwed into the cabinet and this small strip to keep it from shifting.

He did the same thing on the other side, too.  Another strip of 3/4 inch plywood on each side filled the gap between the fridge and wood nicely.

We’ll cover the ugly edges with a face frame for a smooth, polished look.  But this already does a lot to make the kitchen look fancy and custom.

The doors still swing open all the way because the panels are set back slightly.  We also made the opening a standard size as we plan to get a new refrigerator when this one conks out.  And it helps detract from seeing the fridge when you walk in the front door.

Of course once we get the dishwasher, which should be here today, install the counters, (we’re hoping they get the wood by tomorrow), and hang the other upper cabinets, everything will look much more cohesive.

While we’re discussing cavernous kitchen storage, let’s look at the newly installed drawers.

Obviously we still have more to install.  Well, we have to build them first.  But the drawers on either side of the stove are in.  Those puppies are massive.  43 inches wide to be exact.  Oh, and you can see the rope lights.  Vincent wanted to show you.

I’ve already started putting things in the drawers, too.  What used to be split into three drawers now fits in the top right drawer.  Yep, every single utensil we own is visible with the pull of one drawer.

The middle drawer has all of our mixing bowls, strainers, a salad spinner, and food storage containers.

And the bottom drawer holds our pots, pans, baking dishes, and toaster with room to spare.

Other drawers have some stuff, too, but nothing else is in a permanent place.  Before we started the kitchen reno, I had a few moments of concern about having enough storage space.  Now, I’m wondering what I’ll put in the other side.  Not really because we still have food in the pantry and dishes in the guest bedroom closet.  But we’re both so excited about the space we’ve gained without enlarging the footprint of the kitchen.

So how ’bout you.  Are your drawers over sized?  No, not your pants.  Have you encased your fridge for a high-end look?  Do you have similar items dispersed all over your kitchen?

25 thoughts on “Manormous Cabinet

  1. I can’t believe how quickly (and beautifully) the kitchen is coming together. It’s making me want to trade in my own Ben (that’s my husband’s name too) for a handier version. 🙂 Just kidding – I’ll stick with mine. I’m psyched to see how it comes together!

  2. so cool you building the entire kitchen your self!! 🙂 We plan on building our fridge into for more custom look, right now its an island all by itself – so over that look 🙂

    1. Hi Sydney, You literally made me laugh out loud. 🙂 Thanks for the giggle.

      Hi Katrina, That will be awesome. I totally hear you on the island fridge. Not pretty, or as functional as it could be. I can’t wait to see what you do. 🙂


  3. I am in in LOVE with your drawers!!! I cannot believe you have all your untensils in one drawer… I dream for the day when my kitchen has this! Nice work on the hubby’s part so far 🙂

    1. Hi Nicole, We’ll add fronts to the drawers. Something similar to the fronts we made for my office. 🙂

      Hello Laura Britton, I too am in LOVE with the drawers! I was so giddy/excited when I put the utensils in and everything fit. Now I just need drawer dividers. Haha, can’t just be happy with what I’ve got. Ben is a rock star for tackling as much as he has as quickly. Love that man, too.


  4. You and Ben should do some sort of a write-up as to the materials you used and how you designed the cabinets, a breakdown of the costs, etc. I also have a small kitchen and am looking to redo it as well. We’d love to make custom cabinets, but I’m not sure how much we’d have to spend or even what materials to use!

    1. Hi Ashley,

      Will do! Those are all great questions! Just curious though, when you say how we designed the cabinets, are you wondering how we determined sizes and such or how they’ve actually been constructed?


      1. Both, I think. I know determining sizes would be unique to each kitchen, but if there’s any sort of snags you came across when measuring, things to look out for or remember, etc. those would be helpful to keep in mind. I think the construction is what I’m most curious about though because we could use our existing cabinets as a means of measurement.

  5. Looking awesome so far! We just built in our fridge as well but used Ikea panels instead of plywood. We installed it like you did (hang the wall cabinet first then build a cabinet around it) instead of the way YHL did it. Great job!!

    1. Hi Ashley P, Perfect! I’ll try to get a post up about it at some point.

      Lindsay, Such a smart solution! So glad you love yours!

      Hi Hilary, Our hardwoods are pre-finished, so we didn’t have to do anything. I think as long as you clean up any larger spills as soon as possible, you shouldn’t have a problem. Smaller drops of water shouldn’t have any effect, but larger spills might. We have the hardwood floors in our front entry and we just use a rubber backed rug and it has been wonderful to help prevent any floor damage. Maybe give that a try…


  6. everything is looking good! all my favorite bloggers seem to be doing their kitchen over and it’s making it difficult to resist the urge to start ripping ours out! i promised to wait until after xmas though.
    also – i just cut my little guy’s hair for the first time last night! he turned one a couple weeks ago and was already starting to sport a mini-mullet. i loved his hippy/shaggy look but my mom and fiance have been complaining about it! i just distracted him with an apple and reluctantly used a pair of scissors to even everything out. he looks so much older after the trim! 😦

    1. Hi Lizzy, Thanks so much! I bet it’s difficult to resist. You’ll probably thank yourself for waiting until after Christmas, though. Less stress that way. 🙂 What a coincidence! I thought it was fine before, but his hair started getting in his eyes, so it was better for him. And now he looks like a little man. Isn’t it strange to see them with short hair?!

  7. Your posts about your kitchen are exactly the inspiration I need! We’re years away from doing anything besides paint and a new floor (because the linoleum is peeling off the water-damaged wooden subfloor, and our infant has been picking out chunks of subfloor to chew on…), but your process with repairing your subfloor is pretty much what I think we’re going to have to do with ours. Thanks for sharing your work on here!

  8. What art do you have up in the kitchen? I’m looking for something for mine (its about the color of your dining room) that would be kitchen-y. You had a couple cute things but I can’t quite see them.

    1. Hi Beth, That’s too bad about your floor, but it was a pretty easy fix after we had everything pulled up. Good luck with your floor!

      Hey Mary, Here are the two art pieces we have in the kitchen. Spork: And Kitchen Conversions: I also love this pear print: These tea towels would make cute, functional art: I love Etsy for art, so you could always search there for more. 🙂 Happy searching!

      Hi Monique! Thank you so much for always leaving such sweet compliments! Your encouragement is so appreciated. 🙂


  9. Love to see the changes you are making to your kitchen and it seems to be moving along so quickly. You two are a Dynamic Duo…what talent!

  10. Our fridge is in a cabinet, and I like it. I am JEALOUS of those mongo drawers for pots and pans/bowls, etc…it’s really coming together!

    1. Hey there, Sara! Doesn’t the framed out fridge seem so much more finished? Love it! Not to brag, but the giant drawers rock my socks. Haha. It’s getting there!

      Happy Friday!

  11. Amanda,
    I have “big drawers” in my new kitchen and I love love love them. It makes it so easy to find things in a jiffy. I found my handles online at “top knobs” and they add just the right sparkle.
    I need to do a post about my new kitchen – the glass mosaic tile is going up today.
    Wish your husband lived closer….he does great work.

    1. Hi PVE! Aren’t the big drawers fantastic?!? For some reason, Ben thinks the ones by the stove are too big, but I completely disagree. Thanks for the tip about Top Knobs, too! I love hardware because it is the jewelry for cabinets.

      You definitely should post about your kitchen. I’m dying to see everything and it sounds stunning.

      Maybe when we’re done with our house we’ll start a traveling handy man business. 😉


  12. Love the kitchen! what type of plywood did you use and could you tell us how you put the drawers together…kreg jig, nails or what have you? Also, just wondering what drawer slides you used for the large 43″ drawers? Love the work you have done!

  13. Sorry if you get this twice…could you tell us what type of plywood you used for the cabinets and drawers? Also, how did you put the drawers together…kreg jig, nails, glue,etc. My last question is what type of drawer slides are used for the large 43″ drawers. I just love DIY projects and your kitchen is my dream! Thanks for such a great blog!

    1. Hi Dana! Good questions! I’ve got a big cabinet building post in the works, but to answer your questions quickly here ya go: We used 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood. The drawers and cabinets are held together with wood glue and tons of nails with an air nailer. Um, I’m not sure what brand of slides we used, but they’re pretty basic 100 pound rated ones. No fancy self closing feature because those styles tend to move side to side a lot and Ben hates that.

      Stay tuned for a post with all the gory details. 🙂 Should be up in the next few weeks. Just gotta finish writing it now that the cabinets are officially done.

      Thanks so much for your compliments and questions!

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